Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare

Narrated by: Paul Rosenzweig
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (744 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Cyberspace is the 21st century’s greatest engine of change. Telecommunications, commercial and financial systems, government operations, food production - virtually every aspect of global civilization now depends on interconnected cyber systems to operate; systems that have helped advance medicine, streamline everyday commerce, and so much more.

Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare is your guide to understanding the intricate nature of this pressing subject. Delivered by cybersecurity expert and professor Paul Rosenzweig, these 18 engaging lectures will open your eyes to the structure of the Internet, the unique dangers it breeds, and the ways we’re learning how to understand, manage, and reduce these dangers.

In addition, Professor Rosenzweig offers sensible tips on how best to protect yourself, your network, or your business from attack or data loss.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this course are those of the professor and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare

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Required if you use the internet!

What did you love best about Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare?

A great course. Everyone who uses the internet should take this course to understand the vulnerabilities that exist in cyber space today and the responses available.

Pluses:
• The professor covered the following material well:
o How the five gateways of internet vulnerability result in cyber threats being drastically different from traditional threats/war
o Descriptions of the various types of threats (including DDoS, Botnets, financial/intellectual theft, espionage, war acts such as the disruption of the electrical grid or shutting down a uranium enrichment facility, and hardware-based threats)
o Descriptions of the malicious actors in cyberspace (including petty criminals, organized crime, hacktivists, and nation states)
o The legal ramifications of violating a “terms of service” you accept when you sign up for a service on the internet
o The debate on whether the government should provide oversight of cyber security on the internet as a whole and, if so, how much? Can policies keep up with the pace of technological advances?
o The debate on whether the government should monitor internet usage for national security reasons and, if so, to what degree?
o The debate on the definition of privacy in this new age: Do our existing privacy laws need to be revised and updated to reflect technological advances?
• The professor provided both sides of an argument or case for the controversy topics such as privacy protection and government policy on cyber security controls and gave his own views
• The professor kept the technical minutia to a minimum making it easy to follow the technological discussions

One minus:
• I found myself hoping the professor would’ve provided a few more examples (whether real life use cases or theoretic possibilities) when explaining certain topics (such as hardware threats)

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A well-packaged set of zero surprises.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The lecture format is pretty good, but this book wasn't for me because I am fairly well versed in security as a whole.

Would you recommend Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare to your friends? Why or why not?

For people outside of security, it's a great overview. For Execs, it's a great primer, even if a bit out of date. People inside security will find their time better spent elsewhere.

Which scene was your favorite?

I will give the professor credit for being dynamic with his presentation.

Could you see Thinking about Cybersecurity: From Cyber Crime to Cyber Warfare being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

Any additional comments?

I've spent the last 20+ years in information technology and have been responsible for the attack surface of a multi-million dollar organization for the last 15. While I would say there is some good information here for executive types, I find some of the professor's attitudes - specifically those around personal privacy - creepy and disturbing at best. He's clearly spent too much time around DHS and other policy types.

36 people found this helpful

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Cybersecurity is for Anyone Who Uses the Internet

I listened to this book (Cybersecurity) right after listening to, "We Are Anonymous: Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency" (Anonymous) by Parmy Olson, for the second time and while attending a practical application cyber security course. While Cybersecurity is a much better presentation on understanding fundamentals of the digital network threat, Anonymous is an anecdotal account of what happens when those with the capabilities and intentions wreak havoc on the unassuming as well as those who've gone to great lengths to try to protect themselves.

This book goes from point A to point Z of how computers communicate through the network and then points out the inherent vulnerabilities each system/user has and how to implement protective measures. The author opens with STUXNET but uses many other examples (to include Sabu of Anonymous and Lulzsec fame) to set the stage of what has and could/will happen with Cyber Warfare.

The 'Great Courses' presentation is not as digestible as a regular audio book, partly because the narrator is not an actor who has done several audiobooks (although you'd think a professor would be in tune with how consumable his presentation is) and because understanding of complex technical jargon is tough to visualize for a layman. Although I was able to listen at 3X speed without any interruption, (I just didn't like the flow or his voice) others may find following along difficult.. Also, several times during the lectures the professor acknowledges that this recording is for video and audio purposes, but seems to default to his visual audience (i.e., asking the listener to look at his hand gestures or a display).

My favorite chapter was the final one about what we should be doing regarding protecting the overall internet structure. He presents multiple cases of how regulating and removing anonymity from the internet would help in preventing future cyber crime. However he points out that this is really a philosophical argument that doesn't have an easy answer. Regulations remove the power of the internet that truly allows free speech without worry of government tracking and tyranny. However, this can't be the only argument because of the exponential power of rogue actors writing code that infects ignorant unprotected user's systems that then work in concert without the user realizing they are facilitating crimes. The professor's theory (that I absolutely agree): encourage users to study and better understand the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the internet.



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  • L
  • 09-27-18

Aggressively ignorant of its subject matter

Speaking in my capacity as someone who actually knows enough about information security to have a CVE ID to his name, this may be one of the worst things I've ever been required to listen to. Rosenzweig's lack of any sort of actual technology education shows throughout the lectures. He frequently mangles terminology and makes legal claims that don't connect in any way to the underlying facts of the scenarios he presents. He repeatedly advocates solutions that are at best useless and at worst genuinely harmful.

To put it bluntly, this is a "Great Course" in the same way that The Room is a great movie.

On the plus side, the actual recording is decent.

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Very Basic, Outdated Info

I was hoping for more in depth specifics. The entire course just covers the basics from 2012. If in 2017, you can explain what The WannaCry ransomware attack, this is NOT for you.

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cursory analysis. outdated.

this is, obviously, an ever-changing topic. for a publication on cyber* to have lasting value, it needs to bring a analytical framework that will outlive the current tech. this doesn't really deliver.

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helpful but very outdated more focused on macro

I was hoping for a more focused look on how individuals or individual entities can remain secure but it was more of a general discussion cyber security on a whole. and it was dumbed down just a bit too much for me I am a dishwasher an a short oder restaurant with little it know how (at least in my head) and I learn nothing new from this other than a few historical hacking events that I never heard of and he talked about things so vaguely that it would mislead someone who didn't know what was really being said (or not said) overall I did find his political views to be balanced giving both sides before stating his opinion and even then saying that we the people must choose what is or isn't correct and there were many statements made that are no longer the case for example that email encryption tools are usually less than 100$ while this may be factually true it is misleading I could also say that a phone usually costs less then a million dollars and be factually correct but "most phones are less than 500" might be more accurate same with encryption tools free is less than 100$ but most of them are free

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable and highly Informative!

I know that not all of the information in this course is current because technology is changing so rapidly. Despite that pitfall I still found a lot of useful and relevant information. His arguments are certainly persuasive and well thought out. Before this course I felt that my knowledge of computer security was lacking and after this course I felt much more confident in- and much more motivated to protect myself online. Overall I am really, really glad I listened to this course- I found it entertaining, interesting, and accessible but I also feel like this sort of course is a necessity for anyone who spends any amount of time online.

2 people found this helpful

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Covers All Dimensions of Cybersecurity

As a computer professional, the comprehensive nature of this course was illuminating. Rather than focus only on the technical aspects of cyber security, the professor covered political, cultural, legal, and international relations perspectives. With excellent overview of the issues and challenges as well as practical discussions on ways forward, this course is valuable for everyone who uses the internet. That is, essentially for everyone.

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Wow, this course was an eye opener!

This is my first review of an audio download from Audible. (I say "audio download" because this is more like a classroom style lecture series rather than the more common audio book.) Until now I thought it totally unnecessary to add yet another me-too review to other books I've listened to with dozens to hundreds of similar reviews already posted. But since this course has been lightly reviewed I wanted to give my input for others considering this lecture series.

In a few words: I really enjoyed it...

I really thought I was pretty savvy when it comes to computer security. Was I ever wrong! This series was fascinating from beginning to end. The Stuxnet virus lecture (lecture 1) was really amazing. The hardware vulnerability lecture was disturbing. The section on password vulnerability made me super paranoid, and has made me change all my passwords to ones that are much more secure.

I will certainly be more careful in my browsing habits, but I worry greatly about attacks on our infrastructure here in the USA. After listening to this series I was taking a walk along the California aqueduct and came to a massive flow control gate station. There was nobody there. The building itself was heavily fortified, and most likely alarmed. But everything is controlled remotely, and the entire path of the controlling cable is clearly marked with "Do not dig here" placards. Can you tap in here by digging down a few feet? What if someone hacked into that network and opened all the control gates along the entire route from northern California to Los Angeles? Are the control sequences encrypted? How secure are they? Are they connected to the internet? [Keep in mind, though, the Stuxnet virus penetrated the Iranian uranium enrichment facility even though it wasn't hooked up to the internet].

So I can be prosecuted for a federal crime if I update my facebook account at work, but if I make a personal phone call on the company phone it is not? The legal system is so outdated, based on law from the 1970's when phones were the most common communication medium. Fascinating stuff.

I was amazed at how vulnerable we are, and I don't have much confidence in the ability of our elected leaders to handle this. Are we headed for an impending crisis?







8 people found this helpful

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  • iLard
  • 12-17-14

Informative and entertaining

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great overview of the cyber security landscape. It was engaging and prompted me to think a long new lines as I mull over the vulnerabilities and challenges in my organization. I am a senior technology manager in a large global organisation and cyber security is managed by others who are professionals in that domain. So for me this was a useful adrenalin shot to get more background and help me get more from my engagements with those professionals. I myself am in technology infrastructure and I did not pick up on any material issues with the technical content - some of it is simplified so it appeals to as wide an audience as possible. It is NOT a technical book but a high level overview of a large, complex domain. Technical people should listen to this book so they get a stronger appreciation of the socio-political landscape to balance the technicalities of cyber security or infrastructure.

Highly recommended.

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  • LD's
  • 11-21-18

Keeping the standard quality of the Great Courses franchise

Specific cybersecurity terms and subjects discussed in a light and generic fashion. Useful for those not involved or starting in the cybersecurity world

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. M. J. Yeomans
  • 09-14-19

Thorough introductory backgrounder

Interesting and thorough background guide to the subject. Some of this is now dated given 2015 and more that has occurred, but broadly it all holds true. I work in information security so for me this covers very little new, but it's a good primer and refresh for anyone wanting to learn about the subject. Some of the points on law and regulation were new and interesting for me. Performance is slowly paced (no problem), so speed up to 1.20X is my recommendation. All out an interesting book and I'd just like it to have gone a layer deeper, although I'm a bit of a niche market!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Neil
  • 08-20-19

Good course, would have been excellent in 2013

The lecturer was obviously very knowledgeable about his subject and put it across very well and with an engaging manner. However, the course was written in 2012, and a lot has changed since then. As he says in his first lecture, many of the principles still hold true, but it would have been good to have an additional lecture on the end that could have gone into the fallout from Cambridge Analytica and covered aspects like bitcoin and election hacking etc which have come to the fore since 2012. From a legal standpoint, the course also had a very US slant. This isn’t surprising since the lecturer is a US lawyer, and given the dominance of US companies in the internet, is still relevant globally.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Santiago
  • 08-16-18

Will age badly.

Talks about who is who in the internet and about security and surveillance regulation from a statist, moderate point of view.

Glaring omission of the growing role of decentralised systems and platforms.

1 person found this helpful

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  • John
  • 08-02-18

Good book on cyber security

Supposed to be optional but the app is telling me I need to have at least 15 words!

1 person found this helpful

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  • khalid
  • 03-18-16

The best audio book in this subject.

Although, I work in the industry - I have to say that I have learned a great deal from this course.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alev Haddadieh
  • 12-30-15

Must read for everyone

A real eye opener. this book is a must read for everyone on the internet. it is very thought provoking and evident of vulnerability on the net.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 02-27-19

Introduction

A reasonable introduction to the subject for those with little knowledge of the topic, less valuable to those with an existing knowledge of infosec

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  • Sonia Bowditch
  • 10-25-16

great courses

I enjoyed it immensely. Use cyberspace with care but with freedom. The future is exciting.

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  • Thomas Darby
  • 07-01-19

great entry level audiobook

interesting listen. it doesn't go into much detail about security such as salting passwords rather discusses over arching themes in the cyber security industry

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  • Michael
  • 06-11-19

Great lecture series!

Found the book concise and informative. Even though the subject matter is pretty heavy. Two thumbs up!

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  • Pierce Clements
  • 04-11-19

Well read, still relevant.

A great introduction to the topic, later chapters show their age in the topic material. It is a useful guide that creates security minded action and prompts you to consider where you stand in the arguments of privacy, anonymity, and security.

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  • Caio Correa
  • 06-22-18

Great book

It was a great audiobook with a summary of all the main topics in cyber security.